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Beijing. The number of members in the Communist Party of China (CPC) has zoomed past 90 million with a third of them born in the 1980s and 1990s, a top Party department announced Sunday, a day before the 98th anniversary of the establishment of the CPC.

Experts say that the Party has optimized its structure and raised the quality of members, with younger members giving the Party leadership a high approval rating.

As of the end of 2018, the CPC had 90.59 million members, 1.03 million more than in 2017. Some 4.61 million Party organizations at the grassroots level have been established, an increase of 0.8 percent compared with 2017, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee said in a communiqué.

When the CPC was founded in 1921, it had only 50 members.

By 1949, the year the People’s Republic of China was founded, CPC membership had reached 4.48 million, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Of the 90 million Party members, more than 80 percent joined the CPC after the third plenary session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, more than one third of all members were born in the 1980s and 1990s, and nearly half of the members have had college education.

Political observers said young people joining the Party will greatly improve the CPC’s capability for innovation, and the Party’s leadership of the country will be more advanced with the times.

Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday that with one-third of Party members under 40, the CPC has enough “new blood” to maintain its energy and find qualified successors.

The Party’s youth movement also proves that the CPC’s ability to attract and unite young people has been successfully maintained, and the construction of the Party is effective and fruitful, “which can guarantee the Party will keep pace with the times,” Song said.

In recent years, an increasing number of college students have applied to join the Party.

A survey of more than 8,000 college students in Beijing conducted by the Chinese Communist Youth League Beijing Committee in 2015 showed that nearly 60 percent want to join the CPC.

Lin Lei, a former student Party branch chief with the Beijing Institute of Technology, said she became a CPC member because it was a way to realize her self-worth and nearly a half of her classmates have also applied for Party membership.

According to Xinhua, since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, around 3.9 million people apply for Party membership per year.

To maintain its advanced nature and purity, the CPC has adjusted the overall quantity and recruited around 2 million new members every year while paying attention to promoting their qualities.

CPC Party organizations have been set up in 230, 000 government organs, 1.585 million non-public enterprises and 265,000 social organizations.

(In Association with Global Times)